Parents' Guide to

Terraforming Mars

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Space-based board game is rich, complex, and glitchy.

Terraforming Mars Poster Image

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What you will—and won't—find in this app.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 1 parent review

age 10+

Great game suitable for keen young boardgamers

My 10 year-old is a keen young boardgamer and he wanted to learn this having seen me play it. I had no qualms letting him play it as there is no questionable content, and he picked the game up pretty quickly.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

It's safe to assume that the colonization and terraforming of a hostile planet like Mars is a complex and complicated affair. And if you didn't believe that before, you will after playing a few rounds of this mobile adaptation of the popular Terraforming Mars board game. While the game seems simple enough at the start, it quickly becomes a strategic circus act, with players trying to balance tactics and micromanagement while juggling two completely different but connected paths to victory. On one hand, players have to find ways to adjust and maintain key elements to make the planet habitable. Simultaneously, they have to fend off rival corporations and race to accomplish key milestones, earning more Victory Points than the competition. It's easy to put too much focus into one at the expense of the other, which is a surefire formula for defeat.

One issue is that the game's not very inviting for newcomers. Even with its tutorials, it feels like players are tossed into the deep end of the pool before they learn how to swim. And this is a game where learning how to play on the fly just isn't going to cut it against the computer or against more experienced players. Online multiplayer can get frustrating at times in turn-based games, as it's difficult to even see which players' turn everyone is waiting on. Making matters worse, the game suffers from connection issues that often wipes out match progress if the game is interrupted in in any way. These sort of glitches don't necessarily ruin the game, but when they happen, it can definitely make players feel like walking away from it for a while.

App Details

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